[Free Audiobooks] New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson & Fake by Eric Simonson [Award-Nominated Science Fiction Novel & Science History Hoax Drama]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or modern, 1 non-fiction or speculative—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of questioning past and future scientific assumptions and the associated status quo, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 22nd.

  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, read by a full cast, from Hachette Audio. A standalone science fiction novel set in a future New York City partially submerged due to climate change, focusing on the various persons and factions living there as they try to survive and interact with each other despite the class divide between the wealthy in their secure skyscrapers above sea level, and the less privileged who live in the vulnerable low-lying tidal areas. This was a Best Novel finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award, and also placed 3rd on the annual Locus Award list for Best SF Novel.

  • Fake by Eric Simonson, performed by a full cast in front of a live audience, from L.A. Theatre Works. A science history drama alternating between the 1910s and the 1950s, exploring the discovery and impact and eventual debunking of the famous Piltdown Man fossil, a “missing link” debated over by many luminaries of the time, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who participates as a character in the play. This audiobook version also includes an interview with University of Chicago professor Russell H. Tuttle, a distinguished palaeoanthropologist, discussing the hoax in retrospect.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 22nd, available worldwide.

[Free eBook] The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal [Award-Winning Alternate History Science Fiction]

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, a puppeteer and recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (now the Astounding Award), is the 1st novel in the Lady Astronaut series of alternate history science fiction, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June, won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Sidewise Awards, and is being offered free to help promote the upcoming 3rd novel, The Relentless Moon, due in July.

The series takes place in an alternate 1950s where a global disaster prompts international efforts to accelerate and expand space exploration with the aim of colonizing the Moon and beyond to preserve humanity, and provides the prequel backstory to the Hugo Award for Best Novelette winning short “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” (readable free online at the Tor.com website).

This installment sets up the realization of the long-term effects of the initial meteorite strike and the ensuing efforts of talented women to take an equal role in the future as astronauts themselves, as seen from the viewpoint of a US mathematician and former pilot turned “calculator” for the new space program as she struggles against public and professional prejudices as well as her own disabling personal anxieties.

Offered through Friday, June 26th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal [Award-Winning Alternate History Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] Artificial Condition by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is the 2nd novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is part of their featured Free eBook of the Month Club offer for April and also won the Hugo and Locus Awards for Best Novella, and is being offered alongside the its other series companion novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story has investigative mystery elements as the “Murderbot” begins exploring more of its newfound freedom on a journey of self-discovery while also looking into the hidden depths of its namesake past industrial incident and reluctantly becoming acquainted with other AIs.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 21st to 22nd until just before 6 AM morning Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Artificial Condition by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook REPEAT] All Systems Red by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the 1st novella in the The Murderbot Diaries series of science fiction robot adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for a 24-hour period from April 20th-21st (again, having previously been offered in 2018) won the Alex Award and has also won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for various parts of the series, and is being offered alongside its 3 sequel novellas over the course of the week at 1 per day for 24 hours each, to help promote the upcoming 1st full-length novel, Network Effect, which will be published in May.

The series is set in a spacefaring future where planetary exploration missions must be accompanied by security androids supplied by the Company, and stars one beginning to develop its own self-awareness as it hacks the modules which control its behaviour, unknown to and scornful of the humans around it.

This story has investigative mystery elements as one of the exploring groups on a distant planet suddenly loses contact with the other missions, leaving the scientists and the secretly self-named “Murderbot” to figure out what’s going on.

Offered through for a 24-hour period from April 20th to 21st until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & the US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook REPEAT] All Systems Red by Martha Wells [Award-Winning Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] Planet of the Damned by Harry Harrison [Award-Nominated Science Fiction]

Planet of the Damned by the late Harry Harrison, a recipient of the SFWA’s Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement, is the 1st novel in the Brion Brandd series of science fiction adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Open Road Media.

This is Barnes & Noble’s Free Fridays selection for the weekend. The novel was originally serialized in 1961 under the title “A Sense of Obligation” in Analog magazine, and was a Hugo Award finalist in that form.

The series is of the “planetary romance” type with adventures set on exotic planets with distinctive features and cultures, following a super-intelligent athlete as he travels between them and deals with assorted problems. This story features a deadly conflict between two planets orbiting the same sun, one of which harbours a surprising secret responsible for the aggression of its war-mongering ruling class.

Offered in the US only, available at multiple retailers.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Planet of the Damned by Harry Harrison [Award-Nominated Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] Vienna Blood by Adrian Mathews [Award-Winning Science Fiction Mystery/Thriller]

Vienna Blood by Paris-resident British expat author Adrian Mathews is a standalone science fiction murder mystery/thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.

This was originally published in 1999 by Jonathan Cape, was then picked up by Random House’s Vintage and HarperCollins’ HarperTorch imprints, and won the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award in 1999 for Best Novel.

The story is set in 2026, where a Viennese reporter is put on the trail of a drunken acquaintance’s sudden mysterious death, and begins seeking an explanation via a dangerous search in the real world and cyberspace in a dark future where information technology and genetic engineering have become sinister allies.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Vienna Blood by Adrian Mathews [Award-Winning Science Fiction Mystery/Thriller]”

[Free eBook] The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick [Award-Winning Science Fiction]

The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick, a Theodore Sturgeon Award-finalist author, is a standalone science fiction novel with social drama and coming of age elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for August, won the 2006 Alex Award and was also nominated for the 2007 Mythopoeic Award.

The story explores issues of community, identity, immigration, and integration in an sfnal setting, taking place in a near-future America which is entered via a randomized portal by a man and his family exiled from an idyllic alien planet after being accused of a terrible crime, who wind up in a refugee camp, unable to explain their origins, as each member begins to adapt to their new surroundings or not.

Offered through August 16th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick [Award-Winning Science Fiction]”

[Free eBook] The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley [Award-Winning Epic Fantasy]

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley is the 1st novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy of epic fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for July, won the 2015 Morningstar Award for Best Debut Fantasy Novel from the David Gemmell Legend Awards in honour of the late British author, and is being made free to help promote the newly-released standalone novel set in the same universe, Skullsworn.

The trilogy takes place in an Empire whose ruler has just been killed by unknown enemies even as his children are scattered across the world and struggle to stay alive while uncovering the assassins and continuing to follow their differing life-paths and eventually reunite. This installment introduces the late Emperor’s three children: the heir sent to a remote monastery to learn the discipline and rituals that will unlock an ancient power; a warrior-in-training out to save his brother, if he can only survive his brutal final test; and a minister left in charge of the empire, who believes she knows who murdered their father and begins a dangerous pursuit of justice.

Offered through July 19th at just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US-only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley [Award-Winning Epic Fantasy]”

[Free eBook] The Absolutist by John Boyne [Award-Nominated LGBT WWI Historical Literary Novel]

The Absolutist by Irish author John Boyne, a recipient of multiple literary awards, including the Irish Book Award and the Carnegie Medal, is a historical literary drama novel with m/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Penguin Random House’s Other Press imprint.

This is Barnes & Noble’s featured Free Fridays selection for the weekend, and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The story is set in the aftermath of World War I, as a returning soldier delivers letters from a deceased trenchmate to a surviving sister, and unburdens himself of the secrets he carries from his harsh experiences during the war and their complicated relationship.

Offered in the US only, available at multiple retailers.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Absolutist by John Boyne [Award-Nominated LGBT WWI Historical Literary Novel]”

[Free eBook] The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson [Award-Winning Horror Fantasy]

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by British author Tade Thompson is the 1st novella in the Molly Southbourne series of horror with science fiction & fantasy elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books.

This is their secondary featured free eBook of the Month Club offer for June (previously a bonus collection was given out to celebrate Pride Month). This won the 2018 NOMMO Award for African Speculative Fiction in the Best Novella category, and was also a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for Horror and the British Fantasy Society Award, and is being offered to help promote the upcoming 2nd novella, The Survival of Molly Southbourne, expected in July.

The story stars a teenaged girl who all her life has been struggling to survive every day against murderous identical clones that are automatically created whenever she bleeds, who are intent on destroying her in turn forcing her to try to destroy them, as she begins to question her very existence and whether or not she is actually the original, or yet another clone pitted against her many duplicate selves.

Offered through June 28th until just before midnight Eastern Time, available DRM-free to Canada & US only directly from the publisher.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson [Award-Winning Horror Fantasy]”